Ledley King kicks off season of play
Ledley King had a kickabout with schoolchildren and even tried his hand at hula-hooping, as he marked one year since the first No Ball Games sign was taken down in Haringey.
The ex-England footballer and Spurs legend kicked off a season of play across the borough, joined by Year 5 pupils from Lea Valley Primary School at the Somerford Grove estate in Northumberland Park.
With the help of the children, Ledley binned a No Ball Games sign – the 150th to be removed since the campaign to get youngsters playing outdoors was launched in March 2016.
More than half have been taken down now, following joint work between the council, Homes for Haringey and residents’ associations.
Tottenham Hotspur ambassador Ledley said:
“We’re all aware of how much of a problem obesity is in this country. The more we can encourage kids to get active the better it is for them. I started playing football because it was something I enjoyed and it turned into a career. I’m a big advocate of children getting outside and playing and keeping healthy.”
It comes as Haringey Council announces our Weekend of Play, to be held on April 28, 29 and 30, where children will be able to attend free play sessions at parks and other sites across the borough.
It will launch at schools on Friday April 28th, before play events are held on Saturday and Sunday, including circus skills sessions at Jackson’s Lane. There will also be the opportunity for residents to hold a taster Play Street of their own, where their road is temporarily closed to traffic so youngsters can enjoy being outdoors.
Announcing the Weekend of Play, Cllr Elin Weston, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said:
“There are some brilliant activities planned for the Weekend of Play and we hope to get children across Haringey having fun together and enjoying what the borough has to offer. When children play together it boosts their confidence and social and emotional development. Play is a vital part of growing up and helps children to flourish. Most importantly, it’s a great, healthy, way of our little ones having fun.”
No Ball Games and the Weekend of Play are supported by Haringey’s Obesity Alliance, aiming to tackle childhood obesity in a fun and practical way by promoting healthier living. Research shows children are three to five times more active outdoors than indoors.
Cllr Jason Arthur, Cabinet Member for Finance and Health, said:
“Great progress has been made with No Ball Games signs, enabling children to get out and enjoy the free space Haringey has to offer. Keeping active is vital to beat childhood obesity, which is a real concern across the country.
“By providing more space for youngsters to play, we are helping to keep the future generation healthier, and showing them Haringey is their community too for them to enjoy.”
Information on Weekend of Play events will be posted at haringey.gov.uk/weekend-play, on our What’s On in Haringey page and the Haringey Smarter Travel page. Confirmed events include play sessions at Lordship Recreation Ground, Albert Road Recreation Ground, Doncaster Gardens and The Selby Trust.
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